Report a case of mistreatment of an animal

Who to contact for reports of mistreatment of one or more animals? What cases should be reported and what are the sanctions?

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A case of animal mistreatment can be difficult to recognize. It can easily be due to clumsiness or inattention. Which does not prevent mistreatment, leading to sanctions.

The owner must respect several obligations

The owner of an animal (all species included) must respect several obligations with regard to their animal. It is necessary to ensure that it is

  • regularly and correctly nourished (balanced and abundant food to guarantee good health)
  • supplied with fresh water and renewed regularly in a clean container

The animal is locked in a room, this must be sufficiently

  • ventilated, lit, dry, waterproof and disinfected
  • heated in winter
  • respectful of the physiological needs of the animal

The dog is tied up, he must wear a collar at his size, the chain cannot act as a collar. The chain and collier must

  • be proportionate to the size of the animal
  • do not hinder his movements
  • and not be too heavy
  • The chain must measure at least 2.5 meters for sliding chains and 3 meters for chains attached to a device.
  • So-called “choke” or “force” collars are prohibited.

During transport, the animal cannot be locked in a trunk without any ventilation.

If the animal is left in a parked car, the owner must first ensure that the animal has enough air, and that their vehicle is in the shade.

The animal is injured or sick, the owner has the obligation to provide it with the care necessary for its recovery.

Animal protection associations, if there is any doubt

If there is any doubt about the condition of an animal, first contact an animal protection association such as the SPA (Société Protectrice des Animaux) so that they can clearly identify the situation.

Since animals are officially recognized as sentient, mistreating them is punishable by a fine or even several years in prison. Being a crime, mistreatment must be reported to the authorities as a priority.

Contact government services

First of all, contact the police station or the prefecture services.

Associations for the protection of animals do not always have agents authorized to intervene in the field, they will therefore first be required to obtain authorization from the authorities to act on site.

Secondly, you can contact the veterinary services of the Departmental Directorate for Population Protection.

The DDPP may be responsible for certain cases of mistreatment, particularly with regard to professional structures, but also in certain individuals owning more than 9 animals.

In all cases of mistreatment, the associations for the protection of animals must be contacted.

You can also choose another local or national animal protection association. In this case, it is preferable to find out about the area of expertise of the association, some are specialized in cases of mistreatment within a professional structure such as a breeding farm, or specialists in a particular animal species .

In the event that the owner of the animal does not respect his obligations, such as good nutrition of the animal, care, conditions of detention, he may be punished with a fine amounting to €750.

  • If an owner abandons his animal, and/or causes it to suffer serious abuse in public or not, he is liable to 2 years in prison and a fine of €30,000.
  • In the event that an animal is injured or dies through unintentional fault, whether through recklessness, clumsiness, or failure to comply with safety conditions, the person responsible for the incident is liable to a fine of €450. If this act is voluntary, the fine rises to €1,000. €3,000 in the event of a repeat offense.


In all cases of mistreatment, the court can decide:

  • to remove the animal from the owner’s home
  • and prohibit the latter from owning an animal temporarily or permanently.


Finally, the animal can be placed in an animal protection association which will be able to dispose of it freely.


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